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Debates Forum

  1. 15 Jan '13 01:41
    I would expect that Atlas Shrugged would be essential reading for anyone of a particular bent, or anyone who wants to understand that bent. Here is a link to a summary of that massive tome.

    Interestingly it involves oil shale.

    http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/atlas-shrugged/book-summary.html

    It has been so long since I read Atlas Shrugged, in a marathon weekend when I was 18, that I am interested in comments on it or on this summary.
  2. 15 Jan '13 01:46
    Originally posted by JS357
    I would expect that Atlas Shrugged would be essential reading for anyone of a particular bent, or anyone who wants to understand that bent. Here is a link to a summary of that massive tome.

    Interestingly it involves oil shale.

    http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/atlas-shrugged/book-summary.html

    It has been so long since I read Atlas Shru ...[text shortened]... in a marathon weekend when I was 18, that I am interested in comments on it or on this summary.
    Yes Galt won't have sex with Dagny because she has scabs. A good read at any age.
  3. 15 Jan '13 02:09
    Originally posted by JS357
    I would expect that Atlas Shrugged would be essential reading for anyone of a particular bent, or anyone who wants to understand that bent. Here is a link to a summary of that massive tome.

    Interestingly it involves oil shale.

    http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/atlas-shrugged/book-summary.html

    It has been so long since I read Atlas Shru ...[text shortened]... in a marathon weekend when I was 18, that I am interested in comments on it or on this summary.
    I read it first, at the recommendation of a libertarian talk show host, in the mid nineties. I reread it last year, when I could get it on my Kindle. Much easier read, when you don't have to hold open a inch and a half thick paperback with tiny type.

    I laugh at the critiques of people who clearly haven't read it, or have read it without any comprehension, or who are so hell bent on an opposite ideology, that they react in knee jerk fashion to its examples.

    What impressed me on both readings was Rand's comprehension and foresight, and how well her fiction described the reality of today's political and economic system. The book's long term success and continued sales indicates its real value to those who would read with an open mind.
  4. 15 Jan '13 13:19
    Originally posted by normbenign
    I read it first, at the recommendation of a libertarian talk show host, in the mid nineties. I reread it last year, when I could get it on my Kindle. Much easier read, when you don't have to hold open a inch and a half thick paperback with tiny type.

    I laugh at the critiques of people who clearly haven't read it, or have read it without any comprehensi ...[text shortened]... ess and continued sales indicates its real value to those who would read with an open mind.
    A few years ago I made an agreement with a libertarian friend. I'd read The Fountainhead if he read Anna Karenina. Thankfully he still hasn't started on his part of the bargain so I am within my rights to postpone mine.
  5. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    15 Jan '13 13:39
    Originally posted by JS357
    I would expect that Atlas Shrugged would be essential reading for anyone of a particular bent, or anyone who wants to understand that bent. Here is a link to a summary of that massive tome.

    Interestingly it involves oil shale.

    http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/atlas-shrugged/book-summary.html

    It has been so long since I read Atlas Shru ...[text shortened]... in a marathon weekend when I was 18, that I am interested in comments on it or on this summary.
    I've never read Das Kapital either.
  6. 15 Jan '13 14:16
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    A few years ago I made an agreement with a libertarian friend. I'd read The Fountainhead if he read Anna Karenina. Thankfully he still hasn't started on his part of the bargain so I am within my rights to postpone mine.
    Fountainhead is incoherent compared to Atlas Shrugged. I doubt I'd ever be tempted to reread that, but a third reading of Atlas Shrugged is almost a certainty.
  7. 15 Jan '13 14:34
    Originally posted by JS357
    I would expect that Atlas Shrugged would be essential reading for anyone of a particular bent, or anyone who wants to understand that bent. Here is a link to a summary of that massive tome.

    Interestingly it involves oil shale.

    http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/literature/atlas-shrugged/book-summary.html

    It has been so long since I read Atlas Shru ...[text shortened]... in a marathon weekend when I was 18, that I am interested in comments on it or on this summary.
    I have mixed feelings about it's message. I read it about 5 years ago. I'm a christian, so I can't get behind the atheist message. I'll try to make sense of my feelings about it and probably fail miserably. I think her mistrust of the government is spot on. However, I value charity and service. I hope to raise my kids to value the idea of giving what you can to help those in need. I don't agree with the government implementing programs that use taxation for this purpose because I don't trust the government not to use those programs for their own benefit and not the people they are supposed to help. A dependent class is an easy voting bloc for the people who pander to them in the elections, be they seniors dependent on medicare and social security or people dependent on welfare and medicaid.

    One other thing I'll note before soothfast and no1 come along to rip me up. Our tax codes are a perfect example of our elected representatives using their legislative power to benefit themselves. Our representatives are generally independently wealthy, and tax deductions have the most benefit for the wealthy. Our elected representatives made the rules that allow Warren Buffett to pay less then his secretary.
  8. 15 Jan '13 14:39
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Fountainhead is incoherent compared to Atlas Shrugged. I doubt I'd ever be tempted to reread that, but a third reading of Atlas Shrugged is almost a certainty.
    Interestingly my libertarian friend thought The Fountainhead was the better book (which is why we agreed on that). I also like the film version with Gary Cooper.
  9. 15 Jan '13 14:40
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    Interestingly my libertarian friend thought The Fountainhead was the better book (which is why we agreed on that). I also like the film version with Gary Cooper.
    That was a good movie, I haven't seen a Gary Cooper film I didn't like, though.
  10. 15 Jan '13 14:45
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    Interestingly my libertarian friend thought The Fountainhead was the better book (which is why we agreed on that). I also like the film version with Gary Cooper.
    Perhaps it depends on if you evaluate it on literary or philosophical grounds.
  11. 15 Jan '13 14:50
    Originally posted by dryhump
    I have mixed feelings about it's message. I read it about 5 years ago. I'm a christian, so I can't get behind the atheist message. I'll try to make sense of my feelings about it and probably fail miserably. I think her mistrust of the government is spot on. However, I value charity and service. I hope to raise my kids to value the idea of giving what y ...[text shortened]... representatives made the rules that allow Warren Buffett to pay less then his secretary.
    I am an atheist, convinced by Ms. Rand to get off the fence. I used to call myself agnostic. Yet, my fundamentalist upbringing leads me to empathize with Christians and other people of faith especially when their beliefs and practices are attacked and government is used to countermand the 1st amendment.

    Rand is not so much anti charity, or anti service. It is coerced charity and service out of duty that she opposes. The point of Shrugged is that the capitalist does the greatest service by competing and producing the best products and services.
  12. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    15 Jan '13 15:20
    Originally posted by normbenign
    I am an atheist, convinced by Ms. Rand to get off the fence. I used to call myself agnostic. Yet, my fundamentalist upbringing leads me to empathize with Christians and other people of faith especially when their beliefs and practices are attacked and government is used to countermand the 1st amendment.

    Rand is not so much anti charity, or anti service ...[text shortened]... capitalist does the greatest service by competing and producing the best products and services.
    The capitalist does the greatest disservice to humanity by attempting to reduce all of life to a series of economic exchanges.
  13. 15 Jan '13 15:24
    Originally posted by dryhump
    That was a good movie, I haven't seen a Gary Cooper film I didn't like, though.
    Mr Deeds Goes to Town is overrated in my opinion, and For Whom the Bell Tolls is a very bland, awkward film. On the other hand, ten years earlier Cooper had starred in perhaps the best Hemingway adaptation of all, Frank Borzage's lyrical version of A Farewell to Arms.
  14. 15 Jan '13 15:28
    Originally posted by rwingett
    The capitalist does the greatest disservice to humanity by attempting to reduce all of life to a series of economic exchanges.
    Economic exchanges are voluntary, or ought to be, and when they are, they represent men acting on the basis of rational cognitive thinking. The alternative is that men stop thinking and act on the basis of what tyrants and dictators tell them to do.

    The tyrants and dictators need not be devils, and most often promise unfulfillable dreams of utopia.

    Thinking, acting men have improved mankind's condition more in the capitalist era, than in the rest of human history. The life you live now, has changed more for the good in the last two decades than you choose to admit.
  15. 15 Jan '13 16:19
    Originally posted by normbenign
    I am an atheist, convinced by Ms. Rand to get off the fence. I used to call myself agnostic. Yet, my fundamentalist upbringing leads me to empathize with Christians and other people of faith especially when their beliefs and practices are attacked and government is used to countermand the 1st amendment.

    Rand is not so much anti charity, or anti service ...[text shortened]... capitalist does the greatest service by competing and producing the best products and services.
    It's good to see there are at least some positive aspects of Rand's legacy.